Daddy Long Legs
This was my 4th time seeing it, and it’s still gorgeous. It’s just so romantic, and inspiring. I also think the way that it celebrates education is so important. It feels like education is slipping in the first world, as children and teenagers take it for granted, and don’t try, but this is a glorious reminder that it wasn’t always available for everyone (and it seems that university/college is once again gradually becoming a class privilege due to higher living expenses). It was my first time seeing Adam Halpin in the role, except for the live stream they did a few months ago, and the fact that he’s married to Megan (McGinnis) is even more romantic. If you have a spare 15min, watch their interview by Seth from the other day (I was there as usual).
I also like to tell people that the book, and the sequel, are free on the kindle app (out of copyright), and a lot of fun to read (in the sequel that still applies if you can skim over some of the dated “jokes” about orphans and their parents). The show is also quite cheap to see, if you check BroadwayBox, Goldstar, or have a student friend, or go during the 20at20 Off-Broadway weeks (a few times a year), I’m talking $25-35. It’s one of the best value-for-money shows in NYC right now in my opinion.
Dear Evan Hansen (preview)
I’ve been looking forward to this one, as I hadn’t heard a word against it, and it really lived up to the hype. It’s not much use for me to rave about it now that the entire off-broadway run is basically sold out, but if it transfers to Broadway as I expect, it’s very much a must-see.
I think it’s better to not explain the plot as it’s so twisty, but it’s really a complex, thoughtful, portrayal of what it’s like to feel weird/outsiderish/nerdy/isolated, or all of the above, in an American high school. It made me glad to have gone to an Australian school with only 150-160 per grade, as I think it was small enough to know everyone’s name, and while it was possible to be unpopular, it would have been quite hard to be completely unknown.
Cheers to Ben Platt for one of the deepest, most moving performances of the year. The whole cast are amazing. The music is actually quite fun at times, I’ll look forward to a listen if they make a CD, as it was not my focus on the first attendance.
Dido & Aeneas
This was an English opera performed for only two nights in semi-staged concert at City Center. It was written by Purcell around 1689. I bought a ticket because it was starring Kelli O’Hara and Victoria Clark, and was rewarded by hearing them sing beautifully. I wish I had read the program before it began, as having the basic plot already would have saved me straining to understand the sung lyrics. I didn’t need to worry too much, it’s fairly light and simple, but the music was beautiful. Just being in the room, with 4 lovely sopranos, and a large choir and orchestra was well worth it! It only ran for one act, and I left wishing for more.
I should add that Michael John LaChiusa wrote a new prologue, and it was quite entertaining, mentioning modern things like Game of Thrones and cellphones.
You Are Now the Owner of This Suitcase
This was a fun off-off-Broadway show that a friend asked me to come with her to see. It was non-Equity, but being on the Upper West Side, some 4 of 12 actors were appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity.
The plot was a sort of in the vein of Into the Woods, in that it took elements from fairytales, and even involved collecting objects at one point, but it’s also set in current-day NYC, and has a very multicultural bent. As a foreigner in NYC I really appreciated seeing a cast of various races and accents, and it made me realise how rare the accent is in most shows I see (Eclipse, set in Africa, is the major exception of those I’ve seen lately). There’s been a big discussion of racial diversity on Broadway but so far as I’ve heard it generally means Americans of different racial make-up rather than an international crowd.
She Loves Me
I saw it for the 5th time, yes. It’s still utterly adorable.